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Battle of Wormstool
Date 23 Herse HIR 1601
Location Wormstool
Mama Lieger's seigh
Outcome Destruction of Wormstool and its garrison decimated

Conduit Vermis cut east from Bleak Lynche and Haltmire isolated
Threnody withdrawn from Imperial service
Court-martial of Rossamünd Bookchild

Affiliations involved Wormstool garrison

Mama Lieger and allied monsters
Enemy monsters

Participants Rossamünd Bookchild

Threnody
Splinteazle

Aubergene Wellesley
Poesides
Crescens Hugh

Sequecious
Fadus Theudas
Whelpmoon
Pack of spangled whelp-hounds
Rest of the garrison presumably killed

Mama Lieger
Hollyhop
Large nicker

Brodchin leader†
Large ettin
Various other monsters
At least five other monsters confirmed dead

Squarmis
Assanina

Appearances Lamplighter

The Battle of Wormstool was a maraude that occurred on 23 Herse HIR 1601 between the Wormstool garrison and a large force of monsters. It decimated the garrison and destroyed the cothouse, isolating Haltmire from the rest of the Conduit Vermis. Rossamünd Bookchild and Threnody fought in this battle and were among the handful of survivors. Rossamünd's actions led to a subsequent court-martial and his withdrawal from Imperial service.

PreludeEdit

The attack came as a complete surprise and occurred during the day when the garrison was not at full strength as two separate parties had been sent out to fulfill various duties: Rossamünd Bookchild, Threnody, and Splinteazle had set off with Cuniculus to restock the stone-harbor at East Bleak 36 West Stool 10 while at the same time, Aubergene Wellesley, Poesides, and Crescens Hugh had been sent to deliver supplies to Mama Lieger.

The battleEdit

The fight at WormstoolEdit

Rossamünd's party passed the costerman Squarmis on their way, at some point after which Squarmis and his she-mule were apparently attacked and killed by the main force of at least 20 monsters, one of which was a large ettin. The ettin took Squarmis' cart to use as a makeshift helmet and ripped out one of the great-lamps to use as a club. When this group attacked Wormstool directly, the ettin was responsible for breaching the heavy cothouse door while its fellow attackers tried to draw the defenders' fire from it. Although the garrison was able to wound the ettin severely enough to force it to abandon the fight, it succeeded in doing enough damage to the door to allow the other monsters to break in. An unknown number stormed the cothouse and were able to take the fight to the upper levels. They killed Whelpmoon, Sequecious, and the pack of spangled whelp-hounds in the cellars and presumably wiped out the rest of the garrison.

On their way back, Rossamünd, Threnody and Splinteazle realized that something was amiss when they heard a water hen's cry, a sign that only the worst of monsters was about. They came across a lamp that had been bent over with the next one completely ripped out of the road. The closer they got to Wormstool, the stronger the monsters' reek became. When they were a mile away, the trio saw that the cothouse was under siege and ran back. About a hundred yards from Wormstool, Rossamünd yelled at the monsters who were waiting to enter through the breached door to draw their attention away from the cothouse. They were met by a pack of monsters, one of which Splinteazle was able to kill with a shot from his salinumbus. Rossamünd then pitched a vial of loomblaze over the heads of the foremost monsters, catching a pair in the rear. Threnody fired her pair of hauncets at the attackers, but her aim was thrown off by the recoil. Splinteazle then tried to attack the lead bogle with his fodicar, but it shrugged off the blows and tackled him, killing him by attacking the weaker areas of his proofing. To drive the monsters back, Threnody resorted to scathing and temporarily held them at bay.

However once her concentration waned one of the monsters leaped to attack her. It was thwarted by Rossamünd, who swung his fodicar so hard that he broke the monster's back. He was able to skewer a bogle with rabbit-like legs that tried to leap over and get behind them and killed it, pushing another attacker away. Surprised at their opponents' ferocity, the attacking monsters paused. Threnody and Rossamünd's attention was seized when an explosion shook Wormstool. Fadus Theudas tried to flee through the door but was set upon by a large brodchin which stomped on him to death. The four remaining monsters that were confronting the pair took the opportunity to try and wear Threnody down by charging in, then backing off when she scathed against them. Rossamünd tried to throw some loomblaze at the largest bogle, but missed.

The brodchin then joined its fellows, first asking Rossamünd why he was siding with the humans. When he did not answer, it led a charge. Threnody temporarily halted this new attack, but when her witting suddenly broke the monsters closed in. Rossamünd got one with loomblaze and took on the brochin with his fodicar. After dealing a blow to its shoulder, he was knocked to the ground but was able to bring it down by hitting its ankles. He was then able to beat it to death while Threnody kept the other monsters away. With the fall of their leader, the remaining monsters lost heart and fled. Threnody strived at those inside Wormstool and forced them to abandon the attack. Just before the brodchin died Rossamünd was able to whisper an apology to it, which it sadly accepted.

After pulling themselves together, he and Threnody entered Wormstool, where they discovered the casualties on the lower level. As the collapsible stairway had been destroyed, they could not access the upper levels. Despite yelling out to any survivors until they were hoarse, they heard no one. The pair scavenged what food and water they could find from the cellars as well as a flammagon. They then set off for Bleak Lynche, leaving behind Cuniculus when he refused to leave Splinteazle's body. A second explosion collapsed the roof of Wormstool shortly after they left. Rossamünd also spied Freckle tailing them, but he did not come close for fear of Threnody.

During the day a storm came on. The pair supported each other as they ran to Bleak Lynche, spurred on by the terror of being attacked in the rain. When they got in sight of the town Rossamünd fired the flammagon, attracting a quarto from the Bleakhall day-watch. Incredulous at their news, a piquet was dispatched to confirm their story while Rossamünd and Threnody reported to the Bleakhall. Fortunatus, the house-major in command, also could not believe their tale until it was confirmed by the returning piquet. They brought Cuniculus back with them as well as monster parts and several bruicles of cruor as proof of the battle. Rossamünd refused to receive a cruorpunxis, but Threnody accepted and was puncted that same night.

Siege at Mama Lieger'sEdit

Aubergene's party left for Mama Lieger's seigh shortly after Rossamünd's group had left. After they had made their delivery, Mama Lieger warned them not to return, but they disregarded it However before they gone half a mile, Hugh saw something amiss through his sthenicon and the three were able to rush back to the seigh just in time ahead of a pack of monsters. From inside the seigh they fired at the attackers through the windows or hacked at them if they tried to come up through the door, with Mama Lieger herself joining in the defense with a prod. The hollyhop that was on her mantel joined in the defense along with a large nicker of some kind. The attack was beaten off and the seigh left in peace. The group did not leave though until after the storm had passed. They eventually made it safely back to Bleak Lynche.

AftermathEdit

Rossamünd slept for two days straight at the Fend & Fodicar following the battle. During this time Winstermill was informed of what had transpired and Podious Whympre decided to suspend lamplighting for the entire stretch of road from Bleak Lynche to Haltmire. After checking on him, Europe set off in pursuit of the attackers. When Rossamünd awoke he found Aubergene asleep at his bedside. The veteran lighter awakened shortly after and filled him in on what had happened to him and his party. The remains of the Wormstool garrison were buried two days later in the cellars of the Bleakhall after they were recovered. Rossamünd and Threnody were placed on light duties in the meantime.

Europe returned a week after the attack. She had successfully slain every monster she had come across and been helped out by Mama Lieger, who knew where they would have hidden. Europe revealed to Rossamünd that the circumstances of his having beaten to death three ancient and powerful nickers was bound to draw attention.

Two weeks later Whympre issued orders for Threnody and Rossamünd to return immediately to Winstermill. Aubergene, Poesides, and Hugh were directed to serve at Bleakhall until further notice, which did not receive any other reinforcements. Shortly after their return, Whympre convened a court-martial of Rossamünd to determine the cause of the battle.

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